If you follow professional sports at all, chances are you’ve heard about at least one player who has had trouble with “doping,” or the illegal taking of performance enhancing drugs. For most of the top sports, there are policies in place regarding the use of medication, drugs, alcohol, and performance enhancers, with varying degrees of sanctions levied against players caught violating the rules. We’ve become very familiar over the summer of 2013 with the plight of Major League Baseball’s attempt to clean up the sport. Before that, golf was in the news, cycling was famously in the spotlight because of Lance Armstrong, and here and there were rumblings of doping in tennis, MMA fighting, the NFL in light of their stalled drug testing regimen specifically for HGH, and for Olympic athletes in the last Olympics, possibly the most drug-tested Games of all time.
The blow-up over baseball players’ use of PEDs, including Human Growth Hormone, from Florida clinic Biogenesis may have many fans of professional sports wondering, “What about my sport? Is doping a big problem across the board?” It does seem likely that other sports are dealing with the specter of illegal doping once we stop and think about how far professional athletes from cycling and baseball went to hide their PED use and even went so far as to lie, cast blame on others, and intimidate potential whistle-blowers in order to save their careers while doping. Just take a look about how many runners have been tested and accused of using performance enhancers in order to have that one-millisecond edge over their competitors. Which leads to questions such as, “Is it possible to become an elite athlete without some sort of boost? Or is it just a myth that hard work, talent, and perseverance pays off?”
There are some major professional sports clubs who have not been dragged into the doping scandal, namely the NBA. Although basketball isn’t without its share of messes off the court, with stories of players getting DUIs, using drugs and alcohol in the off season, and doing other less than savory things like getting involved in fights and crime, but it’s rare to hear of a player accused of taking PEDs.
In fact, some news outlets are reporting that NBA’s sheen may become a little tarnished from the very same scandal that is rocking the world of baseball. According to Porter Fischer, the former Biogenesis employee who brought clinic records to the Miami New Times, purportedly to expose the wrongdoings of the clinic and the players in retaliation for a several-thousand dollar loan with clinic founder Tony Bosch that went south, the clinic records include a professional lineup of sports stars beyond the MLB receiving creams, lozenges and other items containing HGH, IGF-1, testosterone, and other banned substances. The names contained in Bosch’s notebooks cover a range of sports, from boxing, tennis, and MMA fighting, plus college and high school athletes, and yes, even NBA players. And if the records are any indication, the problem has existed for many years, at least since 2009.
So far, the NBA hasn’t responded to Fischer’s evidence, although it remains to be seen if they will look further into the matter. If so, it leaves fans and amateur sports players alike to wonder if the problem of doping is far more serious and widespread than ever before . . . or if players are just getting careless and getting caught. An interesting observation for fans of hockey and football: there’s no evidence in Biogenesis records of players from these sports having any involvement with the clinic.